Lebanon Valley College expects its students to uphold the principles of academic honesty. Violations of these principles will not be tolerated. Students shall neither hinder nor unfairly assist the efforts of other students to complete their work. All individual work that a student produces and submits as a course assignment must be the student’s own.

Cheating and plagiarism are acts of academic dishonesty. Cheating is an act that deceives or defrauds. It includes, but is not limited to, looking at another’s exam or quiz, using unauthorized materials during an exam or quiz, colluding on assignments without the permission or knowledge of the instructor, and furnishing false information to receive special consideration, such as postponement of an exam, essay, quiz, or deadline of an oral presentation.

Plagiarism is the act of submitting as one’s own the work (the words, ideas, images, or compositions) of another person or persons without accurate attribution. Plagiarism can manifest itself in various ways: it can arise from sloppy, inaccurate note-taking; it can emerge as the incomplete or incompetent citation of resources; it can take the form of the wholesale submission of another person’s work as one’s own, whether from an online, oral, or printed source.

The seriousness of an instance of plagiarism—its moral character as an act of academic dishonesty—normally depends on the extent to which a student intends to deceive and mislead the reader as to the authorship of the work in question. Initially, the instructor will make this determination.

In the unfortunate event of an alleged breach of academic honesty, a student will be assured due process as follows:

  • No later than three calendar weeks after the instructor’s observation of academic dishonesty, the instructor will present to the student (orally or in writing) the specific charge with all supporting documentation. Documentation should include the nature of alleged academic dishonesty, a description of the incident, and the evidence supporting the charge. At the moment the work has been submitted, the student involved forfeits the right to withdraw from the course or to change their course status in any way.

  • Following this notification, the instructor will meet with the student and permit the student to respond to the charge with factual information and mitigating circumstances related to the charge. If circumstances prohibit a face-to-face meeting (as might be the case if the incident occurs at the end of a term), the student may respond to the charges via email.

  • If the instructor concludes that the student is culpable of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall report the suspected incident to the associate provost of undergraduate studies (APUS).

  • Information related to the offenses of academic dishonesty must be passed by the faculty member to the APUS who shall retain the information for as long as the student involved is enrolled at the College. Information and evidence concerning academic dishonesty are the property of the College.

  • The APUS and student charged with academic dishonesty will meet in a closed session to review the charges and the supporting evidence. Following this meeting, the APUS shall send the student formal correspondence describing the consequences of this offense and any further offenses.

Sanctions for Undergraduate Students

  • For the first offense of academic dishonesty, the instructor has the option of implementing whatever grade-related penalty they deem appropriate, up to and including failure in the course.
  • For the second formally established offense of academic dishonesty, failure in the course is warranted; the APUS shall so notify the faculty member(s) involved. Additionally, the APUS has the authority to take further action against the student, up to and including suspension or permanent dismissal from the College.
  • For the third formally established offense of academic dishonesty, failure in the course and removal from the College are warranted. Removal may take the form either of suspension for one or two terms or permanent dismissal. Permanent dismissals are recorded on a student’s academic transcript.

Sanctions for Graduate Students

  • For the first formally established academic dishonesty offense, failure in the course is mandatory.
  • For the second formally established offense, failure in the course and dismissal from the graduate program and College are mandatory. Permanent dismissals are recorded on a student’s academic transcript.
  • The APUS has the authority to determine whether actions by a student constitute “offenses of academic dishonesty” as described previously. 
  • The student may appeal the determination of academic dishonesty within 10 business days following the date of the decision sent to the student from the APUS. Failure by the student to appeal within the limited time period constitutes a waiver of the student’s right to appeal.
  • The appeal must be made in writing and forwarded to the provost and vice president of academic affairs (provost/VPAA). An appeal will be awarded given either of the following conditions:
    • The College’s policies and procedures were not followed by the instructor.
    • Significant and new evidence supporting the student’s defense was discovered after the hearing.
  • The provost/VPAA will assemble an Appeals Committee, consisting of two members of the teaching faculty and one member of the student body. The provost/VPAA will appoint one of the two faculty members to serve as chair of the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee has the authority to (a) affirm or reverse the findings and actions of the instructor and the AD, and (b) reduce or moderate the APUS’s decision on suspension or expulsion. The Appeals Committee does not have the authority to change a grade decision. Findings will be communicated in writing to the student, instructor, APUS, and provost/VPAA. 
  • The chair of the Appeals Committee will consult with the student and instructor to schedule an appeals hearing. The student and instructor will be given at least two College business days’ notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The student and instructor must be present during the hearing, excluding deliberations. The student may be assisted during the appeals hearing by an advisor of choice from among the current students, faculty, administration, or staff, but may not be assisted during the appeals hearing by anyone else. The selected individual may function in an advisory capacity only. They may not actively participate in the appeals hearing.
  • The student will be informed in writing of the committee’s decision within one College business day following the appeals hearing. 
  • Records related to academic dishonesty will be kept for five years following a student’s last date of attendance at the College, except for records of actions resulting in permanent dismissal, which will be kept permanently.